Whilst the tennis in 2020 has often been spectacular, we make absolutely no apologies for having missed Roger Federer immensely.
Federer is a legend like few others, he is an icon of sport (that's all sports, not just tennis), and he is unquestionably one of the greatest players to ever pick up a racket.
The Swiss star has been absent from our screens for almost a year now after undergoing double knee-surgery, but we can't wait to see him back and here is why.
There is no one like Federer
Whilst we completely accept that Federer is not everyone’s cup of tea, there can be little doubt that he is completely unique in tennis. Quite simply, there is no one else like him.
The grace with which he moves around the court, coupled with the silky-smooth ground strokes make him an absolute one-off, not just in tennis today but arguably in tennis’ entire history.
Whether you love him, loathe him, or anything else in between, it is impossible to deny that he brings something to tennis that no one else can replicate and for that reason alone he enhances it.
Resume the rivalries
In fairness, Federer probably hasn’t been the favourite in head-to-head clashes with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for a while now, more because of his age than anything else.
The one exception was probably the semi-final at Wimbledon in 2019 against Nadal, but his peak has obviously been and gone now.
That said, Federer is still very capable of beating either of them, as he showed against Djokovic at the ATP Finals last year, and there aren’t really many players you can say that about.
More to the point, though, whilst it is easy to dismiss Federer as yesterday’s man, his rivalries with Nadal and Djokovic have produced some of the greatest moments in tennis history, and there is every reason to believe there can be more to come.
Others raise their game against Federer
It will never matter what world ranking appears beside Roger Federer’s name – he will always be a major scalp for just about everyone in tennis.
A win against Roger Federer is prestigious and meaningful, and while that pressure can crush many players, it can also inspire others to play way beyond their level.
That’s probably not ideal if you are a Federer fan, but for the neutral it can create brilliant and memorable matches.
Sumptuous net play
We arguably have a more diverse array of styles on the ATP Tour than ever before, but among the aggressive baseliners, the power servers, the defensive baseliners, and scrappy stroke-makers, there is something of a void of volleyers.
Most players can get by at the net okay, but there are not many who truly excel there. Federer, though, is the master.
And, you know what? We love net play. Net play is becoming a lost art in tennis and we accept that, but that makes Federer even more valuable to us here at TennisBuzz.
Appreciate him while we can
Considering the greats used to retire in their early 30s, we have had Roger Federer far longer than anyone could have probably ever hoped. To be still playing in your late 30s is remarkable even without the Grand Slam finals and semi-finals.
We know, though, of course, that the end of his brilliant career is very much in sight. Tennis will move on and still be a great sport to watch. This year has proven that. In particular, the second week of the US Open without any of the big three showed there is nothing to fear.
But Federer has been part of the tennis consciousness for so long now it will be a thunderously sad day when he eventually hangs up his racket, so any chance to appreciate him while we still can should be gleefully welcomed.
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